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Monday 7 March 2022

On the right track: rail companies help Ukraine refugees



Railway companies across Europe are coming to the aid of Ukraine citizens fleeing Russian brutality. following the invasion.  

Many European Union countries have introduced fast-track visa processes to allow quick entry for refugees and now rail companies have joined Wizz Air in helping move people.

Eurostar, the cross-Channel train operator, is offering free travel to Ukrainians entering the UK from Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. 

The firm said that all those with a valid UK visa should speak to a member of Eurostar staff at Paris Nord, Brussels-Midi, Lille Europe or Amsterdam Central stations to receive their free ticket.

Rail companies in Poland, Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Denmark and France have also launched similar schemes for those fleeing the conflict. 

This follows Wizz Air offering 100,000 free seats on flights across continental Europe departing from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia or Romania in March.

The UK Government, many of whose members are fast friend with Russian oligarchs, has not followed the EU’s lead in waiving limits to visa-free access. 

This is largely due to the intransigence of stone-hearted Home Secretary Priti Patel, surely the most inappropriately named politician on the planet. 

It has, instead, announced temporary concessions that allow elderly parents, grandparents, adult children and siblings of UK-based Ukrainian nationals to enter the country. 

Eurostar said: “To help Ukrainian nationals travelling to the UK, we can offer a free Eurostar ticket from any Eurostar station to London St. Pancras International.”

“It is important to arrive with the necessary visa documents, as these will be checked by the UK Border Force during the check-in process. 

"The UK government is regularly reviewing the criteria for Ukrainian refugees to enter the UK, so we would strongly recommend contacting the British Embassy or checking the UK government website for the latest information.” 

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